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Diversity + Inclusion

The ESA Microbial Ecology Section abides by the following principles and actions to
make scientific meetings and events inclusive and diverse:

1. BE INCLUSIVE and have a meeting and/or event that embraces diversity.
Principle: Increase the visibility of people that have been historically underrepresented
in ecology, including, African American, Black, Native American, Latinx, Asian, Pacific
Islander, and LGBTQ+ scientists.
Action: Be proactive in inviting people that contribute to diversity as defined above.

2. BE AWARE and have a meeting and/or event with speaker gender balance.
Principle: The selection process with respect to keynote speakers, as well as speakers at symposia and workshops, should ideally result in a 1:1 man:woman ratio. Be aware of non-binary folks.
Action: Invite equal numbers of men and women to give talks at the 2019 ESA ME meeting and/or events and make sure non-binary folks are represented.

3. BE SAFE and have a code of conduct.
Principle: Enact a meeting code of conduct (COC) that is facilitated to everyone
attending the conference.
Action: Implement the ESA ME COC, make it available on the ESA ME website, and
print large placards to make the COC visible in high traffic areas for the entire duration
of ESA ME meetings and/or events.

4. BE THOUGHTFUL and have facilities and resources that serve every member of the ESA ME accordingly.
Principle: Have a gender-neutral facilities (i.e. bathrooms) and a pumping-room in the
conference venue for all ESA ME meetings and/or events. Offer food choices for members with allergies and/or plant-based diets. Avoid binary name tags that include Mr., Mrs., Ms.
Action: Establish at least one gender-neutral restroom and a pumping-room that is in the conference and/or event venue. Have plant-based food options, ideally, a salad bar. Offer pronoun stickers, she/her/hers, he/her/his, they/them/theirs. Avoid binary gender questions during the registration process. Allow conference registrants to indicate how they want their name to be written on their name tag.

5. BE AN ADVOCATE and help promote minority-based networking and social events at each ESA ME meeting and/or event.
Principle: Allow underrepresented groups in STEM to promote networking and social events on annual meeting websites and in annual meeting programs.
Action: Give underrepresented groups in STEM a deadline to decide a day/time/location and provide a link on the meeting website for interested persons, as well as a blurb of information to be printed in the meeting program.

Note: We have permission from the ESA officers to use and adapt their code of conduct
to the ESA ME.

ESA Microbial Section Leadership

Code of Conduct for ESA Microbial Section

ESA Microbial Ecology (ME) Section values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among ESA ME members and the broader ecological community, and is committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all participants of ESA ME meetings and events. ESA ME meetings and events can serve as an effective forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. This Code of Conduct is important to promoting diversity and creating an inclusive, supportive, and collaborative environment for all peoples.

All ESA ME meetings and events participants – including, but not limited to, attendees,
speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, ESA and ESA ME staff, members of the media, vendors, and service providers (hereinafter “participants”) – are expected to abide by this ESA ME Code of Conduct and by the ESA policy for harassment and discrimination. This Code of Conduct applies in all venues, including ancillary events and social gatherings, and on-line forums and discussions associated with the ESA and ESA ME.

Expected Behavior

  • Treat all participants with kindness, respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions (including those you may not share).
  • Communicate openly, with respect for other participants, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech directed toward other participants.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert ESA or ESA ME staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels or any other venue.

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form. Harassment includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be certain respect is communicated. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to:
    • Physical or verbal abuse of any participant
    • Unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or exclusionary behavior related to age, appearance or body size, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, or religion
    • Inappropriate physical contact
    • Unwanted sexual attention
    • Use of sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces or in presentations
    • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
    • Harassing photography or recording, including taking photographs or recording of another individual’s oral presentation or poster without the explicit permission of that individual and of ESA
    • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
    • Bullying behavior
    • Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior

Immediate serious threat to public safety

  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at any time should contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and immediately notifying facility security.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

  • If you are not in immediate danger but feel that you are the subject of unacceptable
    behavior, have witnessed any such behavior, or have other concerns, please notify an ESA or ESA ME staff member (as soon as possible) who can work with appropriate ESA leadership to resolve the situation. All reports will be treated seriously and responded to promptly. I you are in immediate danger please call 911.
  • To report incidents of any sort during or following an ESA event, please contact ESA staff or submit an anonymous report (call or submit form) using the third party hotline provider, EthicsPoint.
  • Once ESA ME is notified, staff will discuss the details first with the individual filing the complaint, then any witnesses who have been identified, and then the alleged offender before determining an appropriate course of action. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others.


  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • ESA or ESA ME staff (or their designee) or security may take any immediate action deemed necessary and appropriate, including removal from the meeting or event without warning or refund.
  • Further consequences may include prohibition from attending future meetings and events.